Casino – A Movie About More Than Gambling


As anyone who has ever walked the halls of a casino knows, they’re a place where champagne glasses clink and gamblers and tourists mingle. This creates a buzz that is as much about socializing and trying your luck as it is gambling.

But that’s not the whole picture. In order to succeed, casinos need their patrons to spend money, and they work hard to make that happen. That’s why they have restaurants, free drinks, stage shows and a host of other amenities. They also employ a variety of marketing strategies to ensure that gamblers keep coming back for more.

While some of those strategies have changed with the times, others are timeless. For example, the games and entertainment options that are popular today will likely be different five or ten years from now, and savvy casinos keep a close eye on those trends. In addition, many casino marketers focus on demographics to help guide their marketing decisions, such as age and income.

But even so, Casino is a film about more than just the games. It is about a liminal space: between Victorianism and Modernism, between wise-guy street life and the rough blur of large business that antiseptically displacing both organized crime and unions. It is a movie about how the old ways die and what replaces them, and it is a movie that is all the more compelling for its willingness to be ugly and frank about the violence of that process.